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Hit Pop Songs Of The US From 1960-1969

Love Songs In A World Of Hate

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Ah, the idealism of youth! The baby boomers like to pride themselves as a generation that tried to make a difference. And what a difference they made when it came to music. Unfortuantely such idealism was shouted down by the establisment to create the 70s apathy by the same idealists of the 60s.

The decade started with the popularity of beach/surf rock and other equally sappy and safe, nonoffensive music that was supposed to appeal to teen. During the 60s we witness the speedy growth of the Motown empire as it crossed over big time into mainstream culture. Of course we cannot ignore the importance of the British invasion from the greats such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones as well as many other influential artists which really defined 60s music. The hippies had their mellow poetic tunes many times filled with veiled references to drug activities. Then they were all brought together at the close of the decade at Woodstock with the acts of great reputation such as Janis Joplin to the not so great as Sha Na Na.

The beach music was a set back to the rougher edge music of the 50s which was disdained by an uptight, middle and working class that just didn't get it and viewed such music as the work of a devil. After all, those who engaged in that field had lives filled with trouble and tragedy. The beach music as touted by Frankie Avalon and others presented a clean cut image that parents would be proud if their teens were to follow. However, the kids were ready to try something new and with a challenge.

In some remote coffee shops in the more hip towns, the poetic types would hang out and groove to the lyrics they spit out. On the college campus, an interest in folk music began to grow in popularity. Then the hippies with their mellow tunes spread from California and went back East. This all combined into several forms of rock that evolved during the decade. While it was far from the hard edge of the 50s music, it was crossing lines the "safe" music would never venture.

The diverse roots of these forms of music created the roots which would be anthems for anti anything doing with the establishment all the way down to bubblegum. The key to be a hit was to make it new and different. This would explain why it is very hard to pin down an exact when it comes to music of the decade.

While it was considered the thing to do among younger generation (baby boomers) to embrace anything that slapped authority, sweet and sappy love songs would still prevail in the charts as well as meaningless stuff that had a good beat.

Although Motown was crossing over in the mainstream, it was still frowned upon. Try telling that to the kids who were embracing the greats who are still playing to this day such as Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross.

The British invasion is probably what most will associate with the 60s. The Beatles is probably the world's most recognized band that have inspired the careers of many other great bands. England was a little more tolerant of the experimental forms of music, so when they re-invented the hard edge that once belonged to 50s artists and put in their own touches, it became infectious once it hit the US market.

Due to the popularity of the Fab 4 came the introduction of music video on television by the preFab 4 - The Monkees. The Beatles did music videos on film, so why not capture the essence of the hottest group around and gather two musicians and two actors and create a television show with musical clownery to capture an audience that was straying away from the television set. While the Beatles would actually be considered the first to do music videos, the Monkees were the first to do it on television.

The popularity of the Monkees brought about other fake bands such as the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family whose careers were launched from t.v. This is also about the time when bubblegum music and meaningless tunes would hit the charts. The lyrics were far from the political or drug culture songs and aimed at the under 15 group.

This decade brought about the cliche of "sex and drugs and rock and roll" to state that they were all somehow all tied in together. In most cases, yes, it was. As the baby boomers grew tired of the establishment imposed hits, they craved to satisfy all their creature comforts. As the lyrics gave way to more daring action, free sex and free drugs became the cry towards the later 60s.

Drug use was not really thought about as something that could really ruin a life, at least not to the ones participating. That sort of thing happened to someone else. Sex was just pleasurable without much concern about v.d., unwanted pregnancies or offending the parents. AIDS wasn't even in the vocabulary. While having children out of wedlock was still disdained, more and more unmarried mothers were keeping their children.

This attitude of the young generation sent shivers down the spine of a still uptight older culture brought up on a certain value system. They feared what was happening to the youth and how we were all going to hell in a handbasket. They blamed the cause for all of the woes, rock and roll music. Again, the establishment whined about the evils of the music.

The funny thing about the establishment, while they may whine and complain about it, they also held the strings of control since they mostly owned the major forms of media. As we started to cruise out of the 60s into the 70s, the shallow music came back to rule which is sometimes dubbed as AM music since it ruled the airwaves of the radio stations. There was nothing really wrong with it, it just was predictable and safe with a bit more of a beat than the early 60s "safe" music.